Friday, February 10, 2017

No mention of archers, baiters, or shooters...Ever

I have mentioned the manager's weekly Administrative Report sent to commissioners and copied to municipal staff in previous posts. I want to share last week's report, as well as this week's report to the commissioners.

Administrative Report #5 February 3, 2017

Administrative Report #6 February 10, 2017

The commissioners learn about missing manhole covers, limited usage of golf carts during mild weather, tree inspections, and the occasional hole in one, but there has NEVER been anything mentioned about the two archery programs or the deer "removal activities" from last year or this year. No mention of baiting. Nothing about when it began. No mention of the report which will be presented by Keith McGill at Tuesday's Discussion Session.

I find it ironic that golf cart usage will be restricted, but Team Tony will be permitted to drive trucks and drag deer carcasses at the golf course.

I get it. It is not relevant, right? The commissioners don't want to know or aren't allowed to know anything about their lethal plans which cost $100,000 a year. Don't ask. Don't tell. Got it.


Anonymous said...

This is the KNOW NOTHING COMMISSION. They vote and use taxpayers money for a bow-hunting, and a bait-and-shoot deer killing program, which has men running around Mt. Lebanon's densely populated neighborhoods and parks shooting lethal weapons, and they don't want to know anything about THEIR programs. I guess this is their intentional ignorance strategy hoping that this will in some way shield them from being liable for any accidents or deaths that result from THEIR lethal programs, and I guess they feel their intentional ignorance strategy gives them cover from answering any questions about the program. It's really hard to believe that elected officials, who are supposed to represent all Mt. Lebanon citizens and resident safety, think that this is a responsible and transparent way to run municipal government. It's beyond irresponsible, negligent, and shameful.

Anonymous said...

While shooting weapons in a densely populated area is a huge concern, the incompetent management and wasteful spending is ludicrous.
Their stated goal is a 50% in vehicle/deer accidents and after several culls the accident rate went up!
Any intelligent person would say "this isn't working, let's try something else."
Not our numbskulls,they'll keep doing the same thing over and over.

Richard Gideon said...

Here's an observation from West (BG) Mt. Lebanon: after almost two years of seeing deer only occasionally we have a large herd of them visiting my backyard, and those of my neighbors, about every two or three days. I was out on Thursday morning clearing the snow off my driveway when I noticed seven deer crossing the street a few houses down. Hummm. Seems the last cull only improved the habitat for the remaining deer, giving them more food and territory to reproduce - the famous "rebound effect."

Are there a lot of deer in Mt. Lebanon? - probably. Do they have the potential to cause accidents? - of course.* But deer are no respecters of political boundaries, and killing a couple hundred Mt. Lebanon deer makes it easier - and more attractive - for others to move in.
*Excuse the digression, but the biggest safety concern on our local roads comes from arrogant drivers - those who refuse to stop at stop signs on residential streets, and those who can't seem to drive without the aid of a cell phone!

Anonymous said...

A question.
Are deer deader if they're are shot by a sharp shooter instead of by an archer?

My understanding is that the archers and sharpshooters are both confined to shoot at the deer at very close range in our densely populated community. It has also been said that we won't be subjected to seeing wounded deer escaping from the public or donated private cull areas and so far there haven't been any incidents, have there?

So, the question becomes, why not continue to use the volunteer archers instead of high-priced sharpshooters?

I mean, are the sharpshooters taking out deer in very rapid succession or are they bagging one here, one there just like the archers?

If so, wouldn't it be less expensive and safer to stay with archers... if we must cull at all?

Jason Margolis said...

I guess if you bury your head in the sand, the ocean of truths doesn't exist!

Anonymous said...

Richard, I wonder if we can attribute the increase in deer-vehicle accidents to drivers using the new MTL "Look Down" smartphone parking space finder app?

Anonymous said...

I forgot to mention in my previous post why killing deer doesn't work. While it may seem counter intuitive, killing deer actually triggers an increase in deer reproduction and population. This phenomena is called compensatory reproduction (rebound) and is a well documented population dynamic in deer and other mammals. When the deer herd density is temporarily reduced through hunting, culling, or trapping, there is reduced competition for food, and the number of twins and triplets born actually increases. Studies have shown that after a hunt surviving females produced enough offspring to not only replace those killed, but enough to actually increase the size of the herd. This phenomenon explains why hunting as a management tool has resulted in an ever-increasing number of deer in this country. For example, a study conducted by the Dept of Wildlife and Range Sciences, School of Forest Resources and Conservation at the University of Florida sampled deer from five separate sites: three hunted and two nonhunted. The study found that the incidence of twins being born to a pregnant doe was higher on hunted land than on non hunted land. The study found the incidence of twinning was 38% on hunted sites and 14% on nonhunted sites. No twinning was observed among pregnant fawns or yearlings from nonhunted areas, whereas...18% of the pregnant yearlings and...33% of the pregnant fawns from hunted areas carried twins." (Reproductive Dynamics Among Disjunct White-tailed Deer Herds in Florida", Journal of Wildlife Management [1985]).

Laura Simon, The Humane Society of the United States's (HSUS) wildlife biologist writes: "One of the main problems with trying to manage deer through any kind of hunting or culling – as repeatedly cited during a Smithsonian Institute conference on Deer Overabundance (McShea et. al 1997) – is that deer are highly prolific, and their high reproductive rate can quickly compensate for declines in their population. They exhibit higher productivity (i.e. more twins and triplets are born, have higher survival rates, etc.) as their numbers lessen and more food becomes available for the remaining deer. In other words, they 'bounce back'. ... We do not see any evidence that hunting or culling works over the long-term or is an answer for suburban deer conflicts."

Killing deer is not a solution to a problem, but a commitment to a permanent problem.

Anonymous said...

10:11am The issue isn't which method of killing deer is least expensive, but that killing deer doesn't resolve the real deer-human conflicts that the deer hating whiners complain about, which is deer eating their tulips. This has never been about car-deer collisions, which is less than 1% of collisions with injury in Mt. Lebanon. That's been just a bait and switch ruse to justify turning Mt. Lebanon into a private hunting preserve and shooting gallery.

The problems and solutions were presented in a report to the commissioners by Sandy Baker, an experienced deer consultant, that spent an entire week evaluating the situation and doing deer proofing seminars in the summer of 2015. Once Sandy Baker's report was submitted to the commission it quickly disappeared. When residents complained that it wasn't posted on the deer mgt site, it was finally posted but hidden in a link where no one would find it. The problem is that Mt. Lebanon is a smorgasbord for deer. It has 30 public flower islands and 22 public gardens and hundreds of homes that plant flowers and plants that are irresistible to deer, which attracts deer into the community. Ms. Baker's recommendation was a community-wide deer-resistant gardening strategy campaign. Plus, she gave other recommendations to reduce the car-deer collisions that have worked in other communities like Rochester Hills MI, which reduced collisions by over 40%. You can find her report at .

Bow Hunting is extremely inhumane. Twenty-two published scientific surveys and studies indicate that the average wounding rate for bow hunting is over 50%. More than one out of every two deer shot is never retrieved, but dies a slow tortuous death from blood loss and infection. I'm opposed to senseless animal cruelty, and I don't want to live in a community that intentionally practices it, when its been given effective safe and humane alternatives. Plus, you'd have to kill every deer in Mt. Lebanon and build a wall around the community to stop the remaining deer from eating Barbara Logan's tulips.

I disagree with your claim that there hasn't been any incidents. We've had an 80% increase in car-deer collisions since the hunting and culling started. These accidents are a direct result of the hunting and shooting programs, and Mt. Lebanon should be legally liable for the damages, injuries, and deaths.

Mt. Lebanon has been repeatedly warned with facts and reports that hunting increases car-deer collisions, but these facts have been ignored. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, most car-deer collisions happen during hunting season. Pennsylvania's second largest insurance company (the nation's 12th largest insurer) — Erie Insurance — collected data that showed a five-fold increase in car-deer collisions on the first day of hunting, and that car-deer collisions remain high throughout hunting season. This is caused by hunters pushing deer out into the roads and panicked wounded deer running into the roads. In addition, once you kill the matriarch doe, whose job it is to safely cross her family, her orphans will run into the roads without caution.

Furthermore, we have no idea what other incidents have happened and have been covered up.

BTW, I remember the last deer mgt. town hall meeting that was held at the municiple bldg to discuss the deer issues. Out of a population of 33,000 residents, 13 residents showed up to complain about deer eating their flowers.

Bottom line, we can't allow ourselves to be caught up with false choices or the argument that Mt. Lebanon must be turned in to a dangerous private hunting preserve and shooting gallery to address the deer-human conflicts that an entitled and politically influentional minority, who refuse to plant deer resistant flowers, complain about.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't baiting also add to the MTL deer population by luring in any deer living in the periphery?

Anonymous said...

9:28, I agree with everything you wrote and if you look closely I closed with "if we cull at all."

The point of my comment was focused on pointing out the absurdity of spending nearly $100,000 on sharpshooters when the results of such spending are identical to the achievements of free archers.

It's true neither strategy has fulfilled their "stated" goal of reducing accidents by 50% and one would think smart people would step back evaluate the culling and go from there. But no, our commissioners plow ahead blindly and contract for another expensive sharpshooting cull. In fact, they've pretty much gone on record stating that we will conduct these culls every year for a long while.

So what does that leave us with. We can go on blogging incessantly about how inhumane and useless culling is or we can direct our efforts to where they might change the status quo by organizing campaigns for candidates that can think and then implement solutions to solutions like deer, maintaining infrastructure and services without breaking the bank.

Oh by the way, I never said there haven't been any incidents. I only commented that I hadn't heard of any incidents where residents found deer wounded from the archers or shooters on their property that needed dispatched outside of the unknown cull areas.

Anonymous said...

10:56 PM, YES, Mt. Lebanon taxpayers will be paying DeNicola to lure deer in from all the surrounding communities to kill them. In addition, the baiting will also create a rat problem in Mt. Lebanon.

E. T. Gillen said...

I was told that baiting must be occurring on private property across from Brueggers on Cochran Road, in Virginia Manor. Go for bagels and you will see deer congregating. Very sad. Enjoy your rats too! The Allegheny County Health Department does not permit ground feeding/baiting, but MTL and DeNicola will not reveal what or how the bait is being distributed. As I have said MANY times, I was told that it is proprietary. What bullshit.

Anonymous said...

So DeNicola is actually making the deer problem worse and creating another one by attracting rats.

How stupid and to add insult to injury the commissioners are making residents pay for the lunacy.

Anonymous said...

The only reason the incident below in 2008 was reported was because Micah Wolf was the brother of the reporter that covered Mt. Lebanon for The Almanac newspaper. BTW, Wolf had to clean up the large pool of blood himself.


When Micah Wolf walked out his front door to head to work March 7 [2008], he was saddened to see a dead dear lying in his Lindendale Drive yard. His assumption that the deer had been struck by a passing vehicle changed quickly, when he walked to his car.

"There was a good size pool of blood about half a foot from the house," reported Wolf.

Upon closer examination, it was evident that the deer had been shot in the neck. He called for animal control to remove the deer from the property owned by his parents.


I have a number of friends in USC that have reported detailed wounded deer incidents to the police dept. that are not shared with the USC public.

Remember when Amy Castor was walking her dog and was shocked and traumatized when she found 4 dead deer that were shot. She got a camera to document what she thought was illegal hunting in the neighborhood, so close to homes, and where children play. For just doing what any reasonable person would think was a responsible act of civic duty she was bullied, intimidated, and unfairly persecuted by Mt. Lebanon and Judge Blaise Larotonda. She was fined $1,100. However, she was told that if she removed the picture evidence from social media that the fine would be reduced to $200.

So the question is can Mt. Lebanon, which has demonstrated a total lack of transparency and reluctance in reporting details of its deer killing programs, and which apparently feels so threatened by the exposure of deer killing incidents that it intimidates and fines people who try to document and report incidents, be trusted to report incidents?

Anonymous said...

Thank you 2:22.
Remember, I wrote or asked: "It has also been said that we won't be subjected to seeing wounded deer escaping from the public or donated private cull areas and so far there haven't been any incidents, have there?"

Since our PIO won't be alerting us to any wounded deer incidents" most residents probably believe all is well.

I'm still baffled by this whole bait thing. You hate deer on your property, the deer poop disgust you, they threaten your dog, you worry about your kids playing in your yard, you're scared to drive on our streets and you want to protect your precious tulips. Good got that!
So what do you do, why you go ahead and anonymously donate your property for baiting to attract more deer onto your property and neighborhood streets.

To me that'd be like in the interest of improving your kids eating habits you place a bowl of chips, candy bars and soda in the family room for them and their friends to keep them away from the fruit and vegetables in the kitchen.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I'd prefer the $100,000 that is being taken out of the community for deer killing redirected into something more productive... say like improving Rep. Miller's special ed needs.

E. T. Gillen said...

That would be admirable, 3:36 PM, but this is the municipality and not the school district's budget. The $100,000 could go toward the ice rink, or helping to pay for Ward 1's expensive brick roads, or even road work or sidewalks instead of floating more bonds.

Anonymous said...

That's certainly true Elaine, but if you had a choice where would you rather see your taxes go, into education or into killing deer?

Anonymous said...

OK, keep the $100,000 with the municipality.
Put in the bank every year would grow into enough money to resurface the crow jewel field when due that thousands of residents use and supposedly makes our homes more marketable as opposed to keeping a few residents' gardens nice.

E. T. Gillen said...

It's not an option, 4:38 PM. They are two separate governments.

I guess you haven't been following along, 4:38 PM, but our school district taxes are also going up, as well as our municipal taxes.

The reason why I suggested Ward 1's expensive brick roads is because Ward 1 is eating up most of our taxes. Quite vocal Ward 1 residents wanted the toxic turf. They want the deer killed and even offer hot coffee for hunters. They ate up $25,000 for the remodeling guide. And after being told once already that brick road replacements are too expensive, they are getting a second crack at it. Oh, I forgot but many of the vocal PAYT advocates are coming from Ward 1. That is why I suggested moving the deer killing money to fund a different Ward 1 want.

E. T. Gillen said...

Anybody go for a drive today across from Bruegger's on Cochran Road?

Anonymous said...

Yes, Elaine, I'm well aware that shifting the $100,000 from deer culls to education is not an option. I was speaking hypothetically. If you as taxpayers were given the choice to take $100,000 out of your wallets for either deer culls or special education needs which would you chose? I'd be inclined to go with giving to special ed and forgoing killing a few deer that don't bother me in the least.

Unfortunately, you're right, the municipality IS taking our $100,000 to kill deer AND the school district is exceeding the Act 1 limits.

Now back to bones with Ward 1's brick streets etc. I'd like to see some of those people pay a higher Pay As You Drain stormwater fee for their huge lots than someone with a small lot since they love PAYT so much!

E. T. Gillen said...

I have had TWO Castle Shannon residents contact me of incidents near the golf course. One wanted to speak at a commission meeting, but Susan Morgans warned this Castle Shannon resident that only Mt. Lebanon residents are permitted to speak. The non-resident would be asked to leave. The non-resident was traumatized and wanted to avoid conflict. Poor thing.

Yes, there have been incidents, but are intimidated to come forward. I suggested that they go through Castle Shannon, but like everything else here, it will all be swept under the rug. We will never hear about it.

I don't know how our commissioners and administration sleep at night. Tony is laughing all the way to the bank with his 501(c)(3) con game.

Anonymous said...

February 12, 2017 at 1:00 PM, Elaine wrote "I was told that baiting must be occurring on private property across from Brueggers on Cochran Road, in Virginia Manor. Go for bagels and you will see deer congregating."

I hope that's not the case, because it would be totally negligent, unsafe, and an accident waiting to happen baiting and shooting high powered rifles that close to and facing Cochran Road. Of course, there is no safe place to be shooting high powered rifles in Mt. Lebanon, and so it's entirely plausible.

This summer, I was drinking a cup of decaf coffee from Wendy's in my car parked facing Cochran Rd. I saw two of the cutest spotted fawns stick their heads out of the brush to browse on some grass close to the berm of the road. I got a little nervous with them that close to the highway with cars speeding up the road, and so I drove over and stopped my car in front of where they were, and slowly got out and gently persuaded them back down into the wooded gully.

It's difficult to understand how Barbara Logan and her socialite wannabes are so obcessed with blowing the brains out of these gentle fawns and their moms so that they can have their homes featured on the library garden tour. It's hard to imagine the poverty of their inner lives. Incomprehensible.

Ex-Commissioner Barbara Logan press quotes from the 2006/2007 time frame. BTW, notice that there are NO mention of car-deer collisions.

"My shouting and screaming at them does nothing," she said.

"My concern is that if, or when, this plan happens, many of us will be disappointed because our deer are not in an area where we can cull them," said Commissioner Barbara Logan.

"I'm afraid that once we start culling them, they'll lay low until it is over,"added Logan

Ms. Logan said she understood that some people are upset at the thought of killing deer, but whether they die from old age, disease, hunger or hunting, "One way or another, the deer are going to die."

"Mt. Lebanon dedicated an entire weekend to celebrating gardening as it hosted its 25th annual tour. Eight houses were featured, including the home of Barbara and Robert Logan, which was showcased during the inaugural event." [Mt. Lebanon celebrates gardening, The Almanac, 7/14/15]

E. T. Gillen said...

5:55 AM, I vowed to never attend a garden tour again, after Logan pulled that stunt. She was passing out info about killing the deer. I was so upset since I had attended the Mt. Lebanon Garden Tour since its inception - all 25 years! When the library sent me this year's announcement, I wrote back to them that I will no longer be attending because of how Barbara turned a wonderful event into her opportunity to make a political statement. I never saw her at Sandy Baker's event.

As far as your experience this past summer on Cochran Road, the wooded gully is probably where they are shooting. The contract states that DeNicola will be shooting from an elevated position. Last year, the same pick up trucks were parked there during the last shoot out.

The other day, I went to Crust for lunch. From my seat, I could see the bright yellow warning sign posted across the street.

5:55 AM, this IS an accident waiting to happen. Remember the motorcyclist who was seriously injured on Connor Road when Merlin the Magnificent was baiting? He was trying to avoid a turkey.

God help those who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Anonymous said...

The culling is just plain stupid, bottom line!

The accident rate has gone up after spending thousands and thousands of dollars and hundreds of manhours.

If that kind of waste doesn't make you rethink your opinion of our current crop of commissioners you need your head examined in my opinion.